This is John Corneliu.
You're probably wondering who I am, what I'm all about, and what qualifies me to talk in-depth about the 'Greatest Habit'?
I thought I'd take this space here, to briefly introduce myself and to write you a short letter - to get a more personal experience on who I am.
As you may have experienced yourself, there's a fine line as you write these 'about me' sections, on what to actually put down... It's a challenge to ensure you don't write too much, neither too little, nor say what you don't believe - and of course, to stay relevant.
Hopefully, this page will provide you with the information you want to know. :-)
So who am 'I' then?
Well, I'm an average guy, with an above average passion for ideas and wisdom that can improve the quality our personal lives, our society and our environment.
This calling came to me quite forcefully early in my career, when I decided to 'burn the bridge' behind me and permanently leave the architectural profession that I was trained and educated in - and chose to become a student of the 'Wisdom of the Ages'.
In the process, I've went on to study dozens of different educational pathways, through hundreds of books and courses, and completed along the way a few majors such as - a Masters in Education (mostly in Leadership) at Monash University; a Masters in Business (mostly in Communications) at Swinburne University; and a Masters of Arts (mostly in Theology) at Melbourne Divinity.
I've worked in lots of places too - starting from being a cleaner, a house painter, and a sales rep to 'make ends meet' early on; to being an executive coach, a manager and a business lecturer in higher education later on. And yet amidst all these experiences, through all their various guises and forms, the common thread and purpose has been all about the ‘education for the soul’.
From teenage years, I've been inspired by the ancient philosopher Socrates who affirmed that the education for the soul is indeed the most important, as well as the most challenging education to both learn and to teach. In many ways, I've sought to follow in his footsteps and took on the challenge regardless...
Why? Well, because if you really think about it - everything that's good in our lives, rests fully upon this kind of education. It's not really the technical know-how or what we learn in our work or for our work that shapes who we fundamentally are - although for many, it does appear as such, and is as far as their education extends...
But what trully determines who we are, what we do and what we have, is what we learn from the wise - from near or afar, alive or immortalized - in their words and in their actions that makes all the difference. This is why I am passionate about this form of education, to both learn and teach.
We intuitively know this of course, but as our common experience of all those around us shows - this learning is also the most difficult to acquire. For unlike all other forms of education, cultivating our soul requires our free will, absolutely.
There is no coercion in getting the knowledge and education for the way of heaven. We cannot learn it without our full intention and attention present. It's always a free choice. And it most often runs against our 'lower nature'.
The sages and saints throughout history have all unanimously stated this truth in one form or another. Their counsel has always been to prioritize this kind of education above all other kinds of education for the real purpose of our lives, is the perfection of our soul. To quote Jesus: we are to 'be perfect as the Father is perfect, and ‘put first the Kingdom of Heaven, and everything else shall be added’.
Which is of course, the exact opposite of what the world teaches. When it comes to education, just about everything else comes first – education about career, money, relationships, health, recreation, sports, traveling, investments and property and on and on ...
This project then is about a reversal of this order. It is about decisively putting first things first – for those who so freely choose. And we begin here with the undisputed habit of all authentic champions, prayer - the only means and end for how to truly perfect our character.
The Greatest Habit project then, is all about such a ‘mature’ education in prayer – i.e. for the full development and integration of our highest faculties/ the total realization of goods across the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of our lives.
As you may be aware, there is no project quite like this anywhere.
While I won’t repeat why and how these insights into the Greatest Habit came about - because we talk in-depth about this in the Preface – what I just wanted to talk to you about now, is just what drives me in running this project.
For while education or qualifications or experience matter to a degree - what you're probably most interested at the end of the day though, is whether the knowledge here can help you on your particular life path...
i.e. Does this knowledge here make sense for you?
Does it deliver good fruits in your life's particular circumstances?
From the sample of testimonials posted online here, you can see that for many, the answer is a resounding, ‘Yes’! For many, the program is illuminating new insights into the Greatest Habit, because it offers a fresh perspective... it delivers meaningful results, across all aspects of life, because it applies principles from the lives of history's greatest.
But I also realize that 'for many’, isn't exactly you.
There's probably a small part of you that's still skeptical, which is understandable. There are plenty of educated fools too... It’s part of good judgment to know what to avoid, and what to consciously choose. And that is why I invite you to be your own judge, of the substance and worth of this material.
If you found yourself here, do your soul a favor - subscribe and listen to the webinars presented for you here - and hear out what are the principles of powerful prayer...
They will positively enhance your life – this is my promise to you.
But do more than just read or watch the presentations though. Apply what you learn, as set out. Put these principles into practice - on a rock foundation - so they will stand life's trials.
Enjoy your stay here and let's apply the timeless wisdom for real happiness, together.
God bless you,
P. S. Oh, one last thing - can I leave you with a short story?
“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”– FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
THE RISE OF ALBRECHT DURER
In a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.
Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer elder children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy.
Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.
They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.
When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition.
His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."
All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no."
Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly,
"No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."
More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.
One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."
* * *
I have been blessed to have attended many great universities and to have spent many years researching what specific habits made the great men and women in our history. In turn, I've had the honor of serving many by working as a coach and teacher.
But like Albrecht Durer, all this came as a result of the loving sacrifice of my mother and father - who worked tirelessly and prayed abundantly to support the realization of these dreams. This project for the cultivation of principled prayer, is a dedication to them and their shining example of loving service.
I could have never done this, without their "praying hands".
It is my hope in turn, that this course may be a foundation for the realization of your dreams - for no one makes it alone indeed...